Bringing It Home

I have learned that the home practice brings a whole new element to the term discipline. As a mother, part time student, yoga teacher, and business consultant; time is of the essence.  Traveling to my source of yoga practice daily, or even 3 times a week, is super challenging as I am usually bound to deal with some issue going or coming from practice. With husband and baby depending on me to be back by a certain time it has created stress in my life where I don’t need it.

It basically resulted in me also being very conditional with my practice, which, is not good.

Recently, I quit placing ‘conditions’ of perfection around my practice but rather learn  to just practice. In my mind, the home practice cultivates the ultimate guide on your mat in in your life, the ultimate being….YOU.

A couple of things that have helped me.

  • Begin by finding a space that will work for you.
  • Observe the space with import as this intention will help you keep it clean. This will reduce likelihood of wanting to pounce out of your down dog to put away clothes or begin dusting  (been there).
  • Try to be consistent in your efforts and the time you can practice.  Remember effort is different than achievement.  Focus on effort.
  • Practice for the sake of practicing.
  • Don’t be afraid to start small (even if you have a FULL practice). It’s the small changes that are more likely to stick.  25 minutes of quality practice is awesome!!!
  • Approach your home practice like Mysore practice.  Do a little at a time and just let it begin.  Remember “BEST IS THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD”.
  • As Prem and Heather say – “Quality NOT Quantity”

The benefits of practice are attained by consistency of effort.   A home practice is very different than being with a group or even in a Mysore room, by nature of the energy surrounding it (mentally and physically).  It requires a little more effort mentally but also a little more ‘softness’ in the approach.  My relationship with the practice and with myself has changed as a result, to become softer and less rigid on the mat (and in life).

Oftentimes students become crippled without a teacher or the group, and this is not the point of the discipline.   It has taken me years to learn this. The idea is to be able to use the tools provided, so that we can come into ourselves,  by ourselves.

Showing up is 75% of the battle, and a home practice really nails the concept of just showing up for yourself.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

As they say in Mysore, “You try.”

Sandra

NOTES:

This does not replace some good quality time with a qualified instructor or guide.  A teacher/guru is essential in working through many of the road blocks along the way.  Just sayin’.

Also, this concept is not just applicable to Ashtanga yoga…The Art Of Practice applies to our lives, it’s just this particular discipline has helped me recognize the benefits of just approaching many things like ‘practice’.

“Best Is The Enemy Of The Good”

Recently,  Keith came outside as I was beginning my practice early one morning (we are all early birds in this castle) and said happily “YOGA!”

“Gotta do what I gotta do.” I said.

“Perfect is the enemy of good, right?”  He said.

Pause.

“Totally.”  I grinned.  Because, I knew exactly what he meant.

I had one of the best home practices in a long time.

” The best is the enemy of the  good.” ~Voltaire

I think we are all too familiar with the voice inside of us.

“If only I had this – then I would do/get that.”

“I don’t have the time I ‘really’ need to do it (practice, go to the gym, run, clean, start a project, cook a healthy dinner), therefore I won’t.”

“If it were this….then it would be that”.

“If I can’t make it to the studio, then I won’t practice.”

The voice telling us that all conditions must be a certain way before we begin or do anything that we know might improve our lives (or change it). The weather reporter as some people call it.

The other perfection advocate within us is the one that keeps pushing, forcing, advancing, tweaking, changing, until this illusion of perfection is achieved.  This can often leave us burned out…defeated…hurt.

Sometimes,  good – is exactly all we need.  I think Mick Jagger coined it perfectly – “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.”  For me, this has been a huge learning as of late and it has helped me in cultivating a home practice that may not be what it is in the studio, but, the fact is, over time, it could be.

Perfection is just an endless pursuit. It is not an actual.  Ever.

You don’t have to be a yogi to experience this.

An infinite distance lies between nothing–the unsaid comment, the unwritten letter, the undone act–and something, no matter how much room for improvement remains. In comparison, the distance between that something and perfection is barely noticeable at all. www.edbatista.com

It’s about effort.  NOT getting it right every single time.  Chances are within those efforts we catch glimmers of perfection or as some would say “excellence”.

“99% Practice, 1% Theory”, Right?

Keep practicing,

Sandra

 

Cross Bridges As You Come To Them

While goals are important it is important to remember to be grounded in exactly where you are.  In our attempt to plan,  we create bridges to cross that are based on assumptions. Wheels begin to spin and often we begin to over anticipate, over communicate, and create more chaos than is necessary.

Stay steady in exactly where you are and be wise in decisions.  Don’t rope yourself and others into what is unknown.  Change is inevitable between point A and B.

Cross Bridges When You Arrive To Them

Eventually you will be presented with just the right amount of information you need to make a choice.  Until then stay steady…when the time comes…TRUST that you will know exactly what to do – because…you WILL.

Keep up the practice,

Sandra